US judge allows annual New Year's Eve 'possum drop' over animal-lovers' protest

RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina judge has approved a mountain town's New Year's Eve celebration in which organizers capture a possum and hoist and lower it in a cage at midnight.

Attorneys for the Wildlife Resources Commission and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were in court in Raleigh on Monday. The animal-welfare organization sought to block the annual Possum Drop in Brasstown next week. A PETA lawyer says the lights, noise and crowd of people can wreck a possum's nerves and health.

The state commission issued a permit Friday allowing the organizer to capture the animal.

The judge ruled the show in Brasstown can go on with a captured possum.